Your rights against workplace retaliation

The law protects you from workplace retaliation for participating in or engaging in certain activities. For context, workplace retaliation occurs when your employer takes adverse action against you for engaging in legally protected activities. They include reporting discrimination or harassment, participating in an investigation, filing a harassment complaint or exercising other employee rights.

Retaliation can take various forms, not just termination from your job. Demotions, pay cuts, unfavorable shift assignments, exclusion from opportunities or creating a hostile work environment are other ways your employer may retaliate against you.

What can you do about it?

As mentioned, the law has your back. Any form of workplace retaliation is illegal, and you should assert your legal rights. Here is what you need to do if you are experiencing workplace retaliation. 

First, document everything. Keep a detailed record of events and instances of retaliation, including dates, times, witnesses and any communication that might be relevant. Such evidence can help substantiate your claims.

Second, address the matter with your employer or HR department. Sometimes, companies aren’t aware of what’s happening at the ground level, and bringing it to attention could lead to a resolution. Should internal measures fail to resolve the issue or you are uncomfortable addressing it within the company, it may be prudent to look at filing a claim with the appropriate government agency.

Effectively build your case

You can hold a retaliatory employer accountable and even recover compensation for the adverse effects you suffered. While understanding your legal rights is pivotal, navigating the legal terrain alone might seem daunting. That’s where seeking legal guidance becomes crucial. It can help increase the likelihood of a favorable outcome and protect your interests while standing firm against workplace retaliation.

super lawyers
New York County Lawyers Association
New York City Bar
NELA Advocates for Employee Rights National Employment Lawyers Association
lead counsel lc verified